Fire and Hunger in the Works of Das and Mahapatra

  • Akshata Kapoor The Cathedral and John Connon School
Keywords: Indian English Poetry, Kamala Das, Indian identity, Symbolism, Intertextuality, Mahapatra


Indian English poetry is a genre that has been woefully underappreciated by critics, both Indian and foreign. Yet, this genre of poetry is crucial in understanding how Indian identity and society has evolved over time. From the allegedly imitative romantic poetry of pre-independence poets to the individualistic modern and post-modern poetry of postcolonial poets, the transition in themes and styles are indicative of the zeitgeist of contemporary society. This paper will attempt to understand the construction of Indian identity through the use of recurring themes, symbols and imagery in a selection of post-modern Indian English poetry, with a special emphasis on the effect of intertextuality in employing the same. This will be done through a close reading of the poetry of Jayanta Mahapatra and Kamala Das.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Akshata Kapoor, The Cathedral and John Connon School

Akshata Kapoor studies at The Cathedral and John Connon School, Mumbai.


1. Bhasin, Shubhi, and Pallavi Srivastava. “Pragmatic Analysis of Kamala Das Poetry.” IOSR Journal of Humanities and Social Science, vol. 8, no. 2, Jan. 2013, pp. 25–28., doi:10.9790/0837-0822528.
2. Bhagya, C. S. “A History of Indian Poetry in English’ Ed. Rosinka Chaudhuri.” Oxford Research in English (2018): n. pag. Print.
3. Zecchini, Laetitia. “Modernism Indian Poetry, the Bombay Scene Zecchini.”,
4. Perry, John Oliver. “Contemporary Indian Poetry in English.” World Literature Today. vol. 68, no. 2, 1994, pp. 261–271., doi:10.2307/40150140.
5. Rana, Sunita. “A Study of Indian English Poetry.” International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications. vol. 2, no. 10, Oct. 2012,
6. Juneja, Renu. Journal of South Asian Literature, vol. 24, no. 2, 1989, pp. 195–200. JSTOR,
7. Singh, Shaleen. (2009). Post Independence Indian English Poetry. Journal of Alternative Perspectives in the Social Sciences. 1.
9. Bery, Ashok. “Imagery and Imagination in the Poetry of Jayanta Mahapatra.” A History of Indian Poetry in English. pp. 299–312., doi:10.1017/cbo9781139940887.020.
10. Chaturvedi, P.D. “O.P. Bhatnagar's New Poetry: An Urge for Self-Creation.” Journal of South Asian Literature. vol. 21, no. 2, 1986, pp. 190–203. JSTOR,
How to Cite
Kapoor, A. “Fire and Hunger in the Works of Das and Mahapatra”. Contemporary Literary Review India, Vol. 7, no. 4, Nov. 2020, pp. 37-50,
Research Papers